Travel & Expense

Pre-Travel & Expense Requirements

Prior to any travel, all graduate students are required to set a Default Approver, Expense Delegates, and a Verified Email in Concur.

Prior to each conference or travel event, all graduate students are required to:

  1. Request adviser approval for the individual conference or travel event no less than 3 weeks prior to booking travel or completing any travel related purchases.
  2. Receive approval confirmation via a direct communication from the ORFE Grants Manager or Assistant.
  3. Enroll the trip(s) in Enroll My Trip and register foreign travel plans with the Graduate School as outlined by the Princeton Travel Checklist.

Once the 3 steps are complete for one or more travel events, all related expenses must be substantiated in Concur with itemized receipts within 30 days after the expense is incurred.

Expenses that are not submitted in a timely manner may be reported to the IRS as taxable income. Contact Yael Mendes with questions.

Set up Approvers, Delegates, & Verification

All travel funded by university or sponsored research funds, as well as any and all out-of-pocket reimbursement requests, must be submitted and documented through the Concur Travel and Expense System (Concur).

Add a Default Approver

Completing the following steps will allow the Grants Manager to approve expenses you submit to Concur.

  1. Log in to Concur with your PU credentials.
  2. Select Profile Settings from the Profile menu.
  3. Select Expense Approvers under the "Expense Settings" section.
  4. Enter "[email protected]" in the search field and select it from the dropdown list.
  5. Click Save.

Add Expense Delegates

Completing the following steps will allow an ORFE administrator to assist you with preparation of travel and expense reports for reimbursement.

  1. Log in to Concur with your PU credentials.
  2. Select Profile Settings from the Profile menu.
  3. Select Expense Delegates under the "Expense Settings" section.
  4. Select Add.
  5. Add the following list of NetIDs:
    • connieb (Connie Brown)
    • klupinac (Kimberly Lupinacci)
    • lc6684 (Liz Canfield)
    • jh1664 (Jennifer Horn)
    • ym1486 (Yael Mendes)
  6. Enable the options "Can Prepare" and "Can View Receipts" for all the added NetIDs.
  7. Enable the additional options "Receives Emails", "Can Approve", "Receives Approval Emails" for the following NetIDs:
    • connieb (Connie Brown)
    • lc6684 (Liz Canfield)
    • jh1664 (Jennifer Horn)

Verify Your Email Address

Verify your and any other email address you may use when arranging travel or submitting expenses.

Completing these steps allows you and your expense delegate to upload documents to your account via email.

  1. Log in to Concur with your PU credentials.
  2. Select Profile Settings from the Profile menu.
  3. View Email Addresses within Personal Information under the "Your Information" section.
  4. Add an email address and complete the verification process such that the Verification Status listed is "Verified".

Create an Expense Report

  1. Click Start a Report from Concur.
  2. Complete the Report Header fields with the values indicated.
    • Report Name: Your Last Name/Name of Conference/Event/month you will be attending.
    • Report Date: Date you are creating report.
    • Report Type: Domestic or international.
    • Business Purpose: Purpose (ex. Presenter/Attendee)/Conference or Event Name/Month attending.
    • Trip ID: Your Last Name/Conference or Event and Year
    • Comment: Any additional details for ORFE administrative staff.
    • DepartmentFund, Program, Site, Project, Activity: Values provided, if applicable, by ORFE administrative staff after adviser approval.
  3. Click the "Create Report" button.

Add Expenses to a Report

  1. Click on the report under Manage Expenses within the Expenses section of Concur.
  2. Click the "New Expense" button and select the expense type.
  3. Complete all required fields, ensuring the Vendor Name is accurate.
  4. Click the "Add Receipt" button to upload itemized receipts.
    All receipts must be itemized in order to receive reimbursement, regardless of the purchase type.  If an itemized receipt is not included, the item(s) will not be reimbursed.
  5. Ensure the Business Purpose for each expense is expense specific and not auto-populated from the Business Purpose in the header of your report. The Trip ID should remain the same for all expenses for the same conference.

    For example, for airfare to the SIAM Conference on Financial Mathematics, an appropriate business purpose would be “Roundtrip Airfare to SIAM FM23”.

    An appropriate business purpose for breakfast the first day of the conference would be, “Breakfast Day 1 of SIAM FM23”.
  6. Upload conference documentation to the report. Select "Manage Receipts" and then "Manage Attachments" within the relevant report to upload.  Conference documentation should be no more than 2 pages and include:
    • A cover page showing the conference name, dates and location.
    • A second page showing the title of the requestor's talk and their name.
  7. Upload a copy of the direct communication of approval sent to you from the ORFE Grants Manager or Assistant.

Arrange Travel

Use Concur via web or mobile app to estimate expenses, book travel, store frequent flyer numbers and travel preferences, and create travel and non-travel reports for reimbursement.

Add your personal credit card to your Concur profile and use Concur for all arrangements.

Alternatively, you may also use Princeton University’s travel management company, World Travel.

Special rates and discounts by conference organizers are not available in Concur.  If the conference or event has arranged for a “conference rate” on hotel rooms, you should follow the instructions provided by the conference to take advantage of the discounts and submit itemized receipts for reimbursement.

Arrangements by Category

Air Travel

Booking Airfare

Book reservations at least 14 days in advance to ensure the most convenient and cost-effective fares, purchasing the lowest available economy class airfare that meets the needs of the trip.

Airline Requirements for Sponsored Projects

The Fly America Act (FAA) requires the use of U.S. Flag Air Carriers when traveling outside of the U.S.  The Open Skies Agreement provides that qualifying travelers may also travel on airlines from the European Union, Australia, Switzerland and Japan.

Changes, Cancelations, and Unused Tickets 

The traveler is responsible for notifying World Travel if travel plans must be changed due to unforeseen circumstances.  If the cancelation or changes is a non-emergency, the travel is responsible for the cost of the ticket.

Unused tickets cannot be used for personal travel.


Book standard rooms only, reasonable and appropriate for the purpose and location, through Concur or World Travel unless a special conference rate is available via the organizers.

Include itemized hotel receipts in the expense report if booking directly with a hotel.

Travelers are responsible for non-emergency cancellations, no-shows, and any amount charged over the rate guidelines set by the U.S. General Services Administration; use the Per Diem Rates listed to obtain pricing based on your travel location.

Car Rental

Use a rental car when less expensive than alternative transportation (e.g., taxi, car service, or train) or where there are convenience or safety issues that justify the additional cost.

Mid-sized cars are the permitted and recommended rental; motorcycle, moped, or other vehicle upgrades are not permitted.  Include an explanation of the rental requirement with the itemized receipt.

For domestic trips, decline Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and personal liability insurance offered through the rental company when the reservation is made through Concur or World Travel.  If proof of insurance is needed, contact the Department of Risk Management.

For international trips, collision auto liability insurance options must be accepted. Undergraduate students are prohibited from renting vehicles in international locations.

Refuel the rental car prior to returning to the rental agency and decline the pre-paid fuel options. The cost of the fuel for the return is an allowable expense. All other fuel fill ups are the responsibility of the traveler.

All business-related tolls and parking charges that are not part of a student’s regular commute are also allowable expenses.


Taxis should be used for in-city destinations whenever possible, unless a rental car or other means of transport is more cost effective or where there are convenience or safety issues that justify the additional cost.

It is customary to provide a tip for the taxi service of approximately 15%. 

Please make sure you receive a receipt of your payment; this must be included with your reimbursement request.

Limousine & Shuttle Service

Limousine and shuttle services should be used when they are less expensive than alternative transportation, when traveling with a group, or when there are convenience or safety issues that justify the additional cost.

Use a preferred vendors booked via Concur or World travel when reserving limousine or shuttle service for travel in the Philadelphia to New York corridor.

Tips are included in the price we have negotiated with our preferred vendors for travel in the Philadelphia to New York corridor. Additional tipping is not an allowable expense.

When using a non-contracted limousine or shuttle service for travel outside the Philadelphia to New York corridor, a tip of 15% is an allowable expense. 

Personal Automobile

Acceptable Usage

Use of personal auto for business purposes is allowed when it is less expensive than alternative means of transportation or when there are convenience or safety issues that justify the additional cost. Use of personal automobile for normal commute is not an allowable expense.

Mileage Reimbursement

If a personal automobile is used for business purposes, you will be reimbursed at the current IRS authorized mileage rate for miles incurred in excess of your normal commute. The personal mileage reimbursement covers all costs related to the operation of the vehicle, including service, maintenance, insurance, depreciation, and gas.


The prices of gas is factored into the mileage reimbursement rate and is therefore not an allowable expense when traveling by personal automobile.


Tolls incurred while traveling for business are allowable expenses. This does not include tolls incurred for normal commute.


All Parking for business purposes are allowable expenses. Commute-related parking charges are not allowable expenses.


Regular car maintenance, fines, penalties, towing, and repairing are not allowable expenses. 

Train & Other Transportation

Travel by rail is allowed when it is less expensive than alternative means of transportation or when there are convenience or safety issues that justify the additional cost.

Business class is not allowable on funding from Sponsored Projects.